Donna Spence – Original Review

Note: This review is from 2006

Review by Steve Bennett

Donna Spence takes forever asking all the men in the room to make some noise, all the women in the room to make some noise, all the single men in the room to make some noise. This mechanical rabble-rousing sounds more like a Gallup survey than comedy, and simply serves to put off the moment before she has to tell a joke.

Actually, it turns out to be a very, very long wait for that moment.

For Spence takes to the stage like she just wants a chat. Nothing wrong in being so relaxed, but sadly she takes the same casual attitude to jokes – with almost nothing you could identify as being a funny line in itself.

Instead she simply shares her uninteresting opinions on uninteresting things, just chewing the fat. Having to talk is a world apart from having something to say, and sadly Spence is too firmly ensconced in the first camp, even resorting to talking about the difference between cats and dogs, a subject that’s so hack that even mentioning that it’s hack, is hack.

In fact, her only real opinion is on infidelity – and why it’s almost always the female’s fault: either the cuckolded for not pleasing her man, or the other woman for not respecting the relationship. Right on, sister.

To be fair, though, Chortle can only review half her full set, because midway through the night we saw her, in Kilburn’s arts-centre style Tricycle Theatre, she dried up completely – forgetting every scrap of material she’d ever written. Expected, perhaps, of an amateur, but not of someone who’s been performing for at least seven years.

In desperation, she chatted to the audience, but only to ask their name and ‘how are you’; nothing deep enough – not even their job – that might trigger some comedy. Instead, before slinking off apologetically, she reeled off a list of Big Brother and X-Factor contestants and just sneered at them for being ugly and untalented.

On that second count, a cruel review might end with the words pot and kettle in close proximity.

Review date: 14 Nov 2006
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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